Top tips for decorating your home office
Many of us work in an office. I used to in my old job and it was not a particularly pleasant experience. Fluorescent lighting, carpet tiles and bad taste in wallpaper seem to be fairly standard in the office environment and do not make for a comfortable working space. It is for this reason that more companies are creating modern day offices which offer a combination of tools and aesthetic touches that make them a comfortable place to work.
I am now self employed however and so often work from my office at home. So I thought I’d share some tips for those of you who have set up at home for yourselves and maybe need to increase comfort and productivity in your own personal office space. After all, it’s a well documented fact that having a comfortable working environment increases productivity and will allow you to stay focussed on the task at hand.
Choosing office colours
If your personal office is one that will need to accommodate meetings or other colleagues, then bright colours are not the best choice for projecting a neutral, professional atmosphere. The latest contemporary designs tend towards displaying a minimalist aesthetic; so in general terms, home offices should stick with neutral colours that have a warm tone. Colder colours such as light blue can create a very impersonal atmosphere, while neutral shades have the benefit of not being distracting.
In terms of furniture, black is still a very popular choice and those who have opted for furnishings such as recliner sofas, swivel chairs or seats for waiting areas will find that materials like black leather add a touch of luxury and class to the office.
For small business offices that have a strong brand identity, using brighter colours that reflect the pitch and the “mission statement” is sometimes a useful way of maintaining focus on the job. In this scenario warm, bright colours and branded office stationary might well offer a unity of design that helps to create an encouraging, creative vibe.
It is not often that commercial offices have traditional carpets; instead, most opt for carpet tiles, as they are easy to care for and replace when sections begin to get a little worn. Your office at home will most likely sport existing carpet and whilst this is not necessarily an issue, for a truly professional look there should be a flawless integration between the underfoot furnishings and the rest of the room. Again, if the area is going to be used for important meetings bright colours should be avoided – shades such as grey or blue are currently popular.
Laminated or wooden flooring is easier to clean, but tends to make the room colder temperature wise and can also be noisy!
Lighting can really make or break a room. Just look around an Ikea showroom and you will notice the clever use of lighting in a building with no windows or natural light whatsoever. If there is plenty of natural light available, slightly darker colours in the office can be easily accommodated. If not, use lighter colours in the office and maximize artificial light to brighten the room.
Materials for furniture
Consider opting for real wood desks and other furniture; this approach has a much warmer feel to it and adds a luxurious touch as well as creating a very professional atmosphere within the office. Alternatively, for the more contemporary office you might go for glass-topped desks and shelving.
Other office items
When decorating your home office, thought needs to be given to the accessories used and for a really professional look, they should match. It is now really easy to get waste paper bins, pen holders and letter trays that match, so they can be added in a similar or contrasting colour to really finish the room off. Adding a plant or three for a touch of greenery helps soften the overall look as well as adding a splash of colour to the room. Why not move your fish tank out of the lounge into the office room? The office windows can be dressed with stylish blinds that are matched to other features in the office, similar colour of wood etc. I prefer Venetian blinds as they cast nice light patterns if it’s a sunny day and blinds need to be drawn.
So remember, it’s important not to overlook the office décor as it’s really important for remaining driven, creating the right working atmosphere and should impress clients if any come round for a meeting.